NBA Week 20 (Mar 2-8) – Updated With Daily Picks!

02 March 2020

Last updated: 22 March 2020 at 8:14 am

NBA Picks Week 20
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Saturday Against The Spread Play

Atlanta Hawks 19-45 at Memphis Grizzlies 31-32

8PM EST

Opening Line: Grizzlies -5.5 and Off
Current Line: Grizzlies -5.5 and Off

After notching a win attacking the Hawks on the road on Friday, we get the same deal with the strongest strength of play imaginable on Saturday. If you’ve followed this column, you might remember the strongest strength of play available, and that is the Hawks on a road back to back. We get exactly that and a line that isn’t remotely wide enough.

The Hawks struggle in back to backs overall, sporting a 2-9 record in those games. This looks bad, but when digging deeper, we haven’t remotely gotten to the bad yet. In the five home games they’ve played on the second half of a back to back, they are 2-3 with a not brutal -7.8 average differential per game. In the six road games on the second half of a back to back… brace yourself… their 0-6 record is accompanied by an unheard of and insane -27.1 average differential. This is not a typo, their average margin of loss is 27.1 points. The league’s worst road team becomes a scrimmage for their opponents when it is a back to back set.

The Grizzlies are over .500 at home and carry a positive average differential, and will simply have their way on Saturday night. This is the strongest strength of play we will find on an NBA game.

Betting Play: Grizzlies -5

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Friday Review

The Wizards -3 didn’t make this one as easy as it should have been, particularly with Trae Young being a late scratch for the Hawks, but they got the job done. They lead by double digits for the majority of the second half before letting it get tight towards the end, but ultimately hanging on for the 118-112 win and cover.

The win brings us to 67-53 on the season.


Friday Against The Spread Play

Atlanta Hawks 19-44 at Washington Wizards 22-39

7PM EST

PointsBet Line: Wizards -3 and 247.5

After an ugly loss attacking one of the league’s worst road teams last night, we at least get the opportunity to attack the league’s worst road team tonight. The Hawks 6-25 road mark remains the worst in the league. They also remain hands down the worst road team by a wide margin in point differential. Their -13.5 points per game mark is nearly four points per game worse than the second worst Cavs. Despite playing some better ball at home as the season has progressed, they have not been able to solve the riddle of the road. They have lost 7 of their last 8 on the road and the Wizards already have a 10 point win to their credit at home against the Hawks this season. The Wizards play .500 ball at home despite not being a high end team, and this is a game they’ll need if they want to keep their playoff hopes alive. They currently trail Orlando by 4.5 for the final playoff spot in the East and the Magic are also in action tonight and favored. Take the Wizards in an attractive home spot against the Hawks.

Betting Play: Wizards -3

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Thursday Review

Sheesh, what a brick from the Kings -5. They allowed this version of the 76ers, missing Simmons, Embiid and Richardson, to snap their nine game road losing streak, 125-108. The 76ers shot the three ball better and got big bench contributions in this one. Ugly loss but this won’t mean straying from attacking Philly on the road going forward.

The loss brings us to 66-53 on the season


Thursday Against The Spread Play

Philadelphia 76ers 37-25 at Sacramento Kings 27-34

10PM EST

Opening Line: Kings -3.5 and 221
Current Line: Kings -5 and 222

The 76ers road woes have continued, they are now losers of nine straight and will continue to be without three starters in this game. Those three include stars Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, with Josh Richardson rounding out the trio. This is simply a team ill equipped to lose their stars for any amount of time and even with them, have remained an absolute anomaly with their home/road splits. They now carry the league’s fifth worst road record despite being 12 games over .500.

The Kings are moving in the opposite direction and are in the best form they’ve been all season. They have won six straight and 6 of 7 while and are top 6 in the league in point differential in that span, at +6.2 per contest. They are also top 8 in points allowed in that span and top 12 in points scored, and this matchup points to more of the same for both teams.

Take the Kings at home to smash the road weary 76ers.

Betting Play: Kings -5

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Wednesday Review

I am kicking myself for not opting for somewhat attractive favorites in Milwaukee and Portland and instead opting for the under 216.5 in the OKC/Detroit game. These two teams had an outlier first half, combining for 133 points. The normalization occurred in the second half as they only combined for 88 points, but the first half proved to be too much of an outlier as the 114-107 final was just a bit too much.

The loss brings us to 66-52 on the season.

 


 

Wednesday Against The Spread Play

Oklahoma City Thunder 37-24 at Detroit Pistons 20-42

7PM EST

Opening Line: Thunder -7 and 216.5
Current Line: Thunder -7 and 216.5

This is a matchup better for betting than it is for tuning in and watching, as is generally the case when (spoiler) playing unders. These teams are both bottom seven in the league in scoring since the all star break and the skeleton version of the Pistons is not at all built for winning as they have embraced their lost season. OKC is bottom eight in the league in both pace and points scored on the road while the Pistons rank the exact same way in home games, bottom eight. The Thunder are also in the midst of offensive anemia, as they have scored a combined total of 180 points in their last two games combined. The Pistons have only topped 112 points twice in their last 11 games, and that was in both matchups with the Suns, who are more accustomed to scoring pace than the Thunder. The Pistons have scored 106 points or fewer in 8 of their last 11 and have failed to hit the century mark in four of those games. This one will be slow and ugly. Bet it but don’t watch it and take the under.

 

Betting Play: Under 216.5

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Tuesday Review

With the Raptors ruling out Vanvleet and Ibaka well before tip, we had no action on Tuesday.

 


 

Tuesday Against The Spread Play

Toronto Raptors 42-18 at Phoenix Suns 24-37

9PM EST

Opening Line: Raptors -3.5 and 225
Current Line: Raptors -4.5 and 225.5

This play unfortunately gets lead with an asterisk as combo guard Fred Vanvleet is questionable but his availability will be needed for this play to have value. If he were to be ruled out, it becomes a no play.

The Raptors are entering this game losers of three straight for the second time this season, with the first such losing streak being snapped with an impressive road win in Boston. This matchup isn’t as daunting and not one that would be labeled as impressive, but it is one that the Raptors should take advantage of to right the ship. Their 19-9 road record is the third best in the league, trailing only the Bucks and Lakers, and they are one of just five teams in the league with an average road point differential over +3. They continue to be without Marc Gasol and both Vanvleet and Serge Ibaka are questionable for this game. Vanvleet is the player we need to see active to have value in this play, but Ibaka would help matters as well.

The Suns also enter this game losers of three straight, but that isn’t anything new for them. This is their fifth such losing streak on the season. They have recently lost Kelly Oubre likely for the rest of the season with a torn meniscus and it is difficult to understate how much of a contributor he was for this team. It is no coincidence this current three game skid coincides precisely with the loss of Oubre, and it was capped in their last game with the ultimate embarrassment, a home blowout at the hands of the Warriors. The Suns are also an oddball team in that their road record is better than their woeful 11-21 home record and are not a team to avoid at home.

Take the Raptors for the win and cover. Vanvleet being active would keep it as a must play. If he were to be ruled out, it gets dicey and probably better to move on to tomorrow.

Betting Play: Raptors -4.5

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Monday Review

The Bucks -4 had an absolute dud in Miami. They lost for just the ninth time this season and their scorers were hardly that in this game. Giannis and Middleton combined to shoot 10 of 34 including 2 of 14 from three point range as the Heat won 105-89. This is the worst display from a full strength Bucks team on the season.

The loss brings us to 66-51 on the season.

 


 

Monday Against The Spread Play

Milwaukee Bucks 52-8 at Miami Heat 38-22

730 PM EST

Opening Line: Bucks -1.5 and 226.5
Current Line: Bucks -4 and 225.5

The Heat get a home game, where they are markedly better but they play the Bucks who are the one team in the East that truly outclasses them. We know the Heat are one of the best home teams in the league, but they are currently in poor form in comparison to the rest of their season and we would be remiss to not recognize the dominance of the Bucks, agnostic to where their games are played. Despite the Heat carrying the third best home record in the league, the Bucks *road* record is just a half game worse than the Heat’s home mark on the season. As for recent performance, the Heat have lost 4 of their last 7 and 7 of their last 11, and that includes an ugly home loss to the tanking Timberwolves.

The Bucks on the other hand have won six straight games and have won 12 of 13 and 20 of their last 22 and we get the rare instance where we just need a Bucks win as opposed to a Bucks blowout. A statistic that boggles the mind is that Miami is second in the league at home with an average +10.3 point home differential at home, trailing only the Bucks. The impressive statistic here is that the Bucks trump this figure in their road games and are a whopping 4.1 points per contest better than the next best team in the Mavericks. As mentioned, it is highly attractive to be able to take the Bucks in any matchup where a blowout isn’t required and this spot fully fits the bill. Of course it was more attractive at the opening figure of -1.5 but there is still plenty of value at -4. Riding the Bucks remains prudent and they are the play today.

Betting Play: Bucks -4


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Friday Review

The Magic -7.5 never truly blew the TWolves away on Friday, but they did control the second half of the fourth quarter, and ultimately covered without a hitch in a 136-125 win.

The win brings us to 66-50 on the season.


Betting Picks with TJ CalkinsTJ Calkins – NBA Expert

TJ Calkins was raised in a gambling loving household. He knew how to handicap horse races and follow line movements well before his tenth birthday. TJ provides daily NBA Picks on US sportsbonus.

 

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